In the beginning of last Fall semester, the thesis students were allowed to choose one thesis professor who they want to work with for their thesis project. There are seven thesis professors to choose from, and each of them present their own theme (generally broad topics) that students' project will relate to. That explained, I chose a topic about 'Performative and Responsive Architecture'. I have always been interested in wondrous devices, apertures, apparatuses, robotic systems that operates and moves. My interest in such area continued to grow as my interest in change in environment, culture, and society developed in last couple years. I am interested in converging these two topics in order to design a better architecture that performs and responses to its changing environment, whether the change is coming from the environmental threats like rise of sea level and natural disasters or the social changes and urban lifestyle.
The thesis I am proposing is a floating city. The proposal stems from the issue of swelling of population and swelling of sea water in London (but even in other coastal cities that are vulnerable to the same issues). The city will continue to grow where housing costs are already high and will be continue to become more vulnerable to flooding due to rise of sea level. It is not ideal to expand the city in suburban areas as the consequence includes overtaking the green belt and destroying natural habitats. It is best to keep the city as it is but expand on the water surface.
My research for this topic has been going on in different directions simultaneously. One idea that I have been researching on is, how does the building float/sits on water? Do buildings become like a boat? Or are they supported by stilts? How would they be different structurally from the buildings on land? Another idea that I am researching on is, how does such community function when their community is built on water? How does people travel around the community? What kind of economic opportunity does such community offer? What kind of living or lifestyle does it demand? How will such community be successful?
These are on-going questions I am dealing with right now, and I hope to find answers to these questions in the near future through my project. Stay tuned!